Tomatoes…. tomatoes everywhere

Edith Lovett

Pulaski County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

If you are lucky, you probably have more tomatoes that you can eat or share right now. So, what do you do with all these tomatoes? Home Canning Tomatoes and tomato products can help you save money and gain control over what's in your food while preserving the bounty of summer for your family's year-round enjoyment. Some of the canning ideas for using your tomatoes include tomato chili sauce, taco sauce, roasting tomatoes, tomato ketchup, tomato sauce, tomato puree, tomato salsa, tomato gazpacho (a tomato soup) and tomato jam to name a few tomato preservations ideas. Green Tomato can be used to make relish, green tomato chow-chow, and yellow tomato chutney. To ensure safe, high quality home-canned products, always follow research-based recommendations. Free canning publications are available at the Pulaski County Extension Office.

When canning tomatoes and tomato products, start with disease-free, preferably vine-ripened, firm tomatoes. Do not use tomatoes that are overripe or beginning to spoil. Green tomatoes can be safely substituted for ripe tomatoes in USDA-approved recipes, but the taste of the final products will be different.

If you can't find canning products, such as jars and lids, you can also freeze your tomatoes. Tomatoes, yellow, green, or red, can be frozen whole, or cut into pieces. These tomatoes are used only for coking or seasoning, as tomatoes will not be solid when thawed. You can also freeze tomato juice. Frozen green tomatoes are often used for pan frying.

Most tomato preservations recipes use the water bath or boiling water method. Some recipes suggest either boiling water or pressure canner. Just follow the directions for the method suggested. An average of 21 pounds of tomatoes is needed per canner load of 7 quarts. A bushel of tomatoes weighs around 53 pounds and will yield 15 to 18 quarts of tomato juice.

The Pulaski County Extension Office has free publications for you to use when canning. Their recipes are research-based for safe home canning. Come by the office or give us a call for all your publication needs.

On August 1, 2020, Thomson International, Inc. recalled all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, due to the risk of cross-contamination. Recalled products include red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions shipped from May 1, 2020 to present. You may have picked up some of these onions before they were recalled. Be sure to check your onion bag to see who it was distributed by or contact your local grocery store where you made the purchase.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program food vouchers are available to those people that qualify and can be picked up on the third floor of the Pulaski County Court House. These vouchers of $28 can be used only at the Somerset Farmer's Market site in the county. The Somerset Market, located on South Highway 27 near the Mall, is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:00 until 2:00.

The Lake Cumberland Farmers Market, located uptown in their new building, is opened on Saturdays from 8:00 to 2:00 and on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 1:00 to 7:00. While shopping at the Farmers' Market, take the time to pick up a free Farmers' Market Shopper's Guide that is filled with delicious recipes, and other single recipes available to you. You can also pick up recipes and the Farmers Market Shopper's Guide at the Pulaski County Extension Office.

Easiest Recipe for Salsa

6 pounds of Fresh Tomatoes (about 18 medium size)

½ cup vinegar

1 pouch of Mrs. Wages Salsa Mix

(Mrs. Wages comes in medium and hot mix so watch for the flavor you like. Also, the canning instructions will be given on the package)

Prepare tomatoes by scalding the fresh tomatoes for about 3 minutes in boiling hot water, or when the tomato skin splits. Dip the whole tomatoes in ice water immediately. Peel off the skins, cut out the cores, and dice the tomatoes. Combine the tomatoes with vinegar and salsa mix in a large saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour hot salsa into clean hot pint jars, leaving ½ inch heat space. Remove the air bubbles, wipe the jar rims with a dampened clean paper towel; apply the two-piece metal caps. Process for 40 minutes in a boiling water canner. This will yield 5-pint jars.

Recommended for you